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B of A, Countrywide Combine Mortgage Brands

Note: A previous version of this story contained an error in attributing new Southern California hires information to Barbara Desoer, president of Bank of America Home Loans. Bank of America and Countrywide mortgage brands have combined to become Bank of America Home Loans, the company announced. Bank of America acquired Countrywide Financial Corporation on July 1, 2008. The merger resulted in 7,500 job cuts. Bank of America Home Loan has actually filled 3,000 positions, and plans to hire another 1,000. Southern California, and the San Fernando Valley, will benefit from some of the jobs, said Dan Frahm, a spokesman for Bank of America Home Loans. The company originates and services one out of every five loans in the country, representing a servicing portfolio of almost 14 million loans. During Q1 2009, Bank of America funded $85 billon in first mortgages. Countrywide customers can make loan payments through Bank of America Home Loans, statements will be re-branded, and the two company’s web sites have been merged. Signage has also been changed at Countrywide locations. Part of the brand roll-out also includes three new products/services, Desoer said. The “clarity commitment” seeks to educate borrowers about the long-term costs of mortgage products. The Bank of America Home Loan guide is an online interactive tool that walks borrowers through the mortgage process. The “Flat Fee Mortgage Plus” sets one flat closing fee for mortgage loans.

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